Key West’s Life of Letters

Archive adds rare Tennessee Williams Audio

A rare audio recording of the great playwright Tennessee Williams is the latest addition to the KWLS Audio Archives. After decades in the vault of the Key West branch of the Monroe County Public Library, the original reel-to-reel recording was recently discovered by library staff and digitized with funding support …Read More

Conversation with Phyllis Rose
Keynote Speaker for Writers on Writers

Phyllis Rose has been named keynote speaker for the first session of the 31st Key West Literary Seminar, “Writers on Writers.” She will deliver the annual John Hersey Memorial Address at the San Carlos Institute on Thursday, January 10, 2013. Rose’s 1978 biography of Virginia Woolf was in the vanguard of …Read More

Concord Is Where You Are Right Now
a conversation with Robert D. Richardson

“the past can be understood only if we imagine each moment of it as present, with ourselves as the actors in it.”

Of the Days and “Days” of Hemingway

We’d like to welcome the stocky white-bearded men resembling Ernest Hemingway who are beginning to pour into town for the annual celebration that is Hemingway Days. May your drinking be done not only in emulation of the great writer’s worst habit, but in empathy with his suffering spirit. Surely his …Read More

From the Curt Richter Studios, 2012 Edition

Curt Richter’s extraordinary series of portraits of writers continues with new work developed during the seminar earlier this year. The Helsinki-based American is a former Guggenheim fellow and author of the touring collection “A Portrait of Southern Writers.” His photographs hang in major museums around the world, including London’s Victoria …Read More

Sea Surface Full of Clouds

That’s the radar image from Key West, shortly before 11:00 this morning. With possible rainfall amounts of 3-5 inches over the next 36 hours, strong easterly winds, and astronomically high new-moon tides, these are particularly good days for reading indoors. From Wallace Stevens, “The Sea Surface Full of Clouds”: “Good …Read More

Susan P. Mesker, 1936-2012

We mourn the loss of Susan P. Mesker, an ardent supporter of the Key West Literary Seminar and other cultural nonprofits, who touched the lives of many. She died on Friday, June 8, at her William Street home. She was 75. Susan was a longtime member of the board of …Read More

James Merrill on Elizabeth Bishop – Archives

A rare audio recording of the poet James Merrill makes available his bewitching reading in tribute to Elizabeth Bishop at the 1993 Key West Literary Seminar.